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Latham, Jones Day Stay Committed to Summer Associate Programs

April 10, 2020, 9:01 PM

As more law firms move to cancel or delay their summer associate programs due to coronavirus, Latham & Watkins and Jones Day are holding steady in their commitments to host their newest crop of talent, whether virtually or in-person.

Latham informed its incoming summer associate class that the firm still intends to hold a 2020 summer program, a firm spokesperson said, though the form in which it will take place has yet to be determined.

The firm’s summer program was scheduled to begin May 18, according to the spokesperson, who said Latham intends to honor its full financial commitment to both its summer associates and the first year students it hosts.

“We look forward to welcoming our newest colleagues to the firm,” Abid Qureshi, chair of Latham’s global recruiting committee, said in a statement to Bloomberg Law. “We are confident that, together, we will be able to meet the challenge of the months ahead and hold a Summer Program and a 1L Fellowship Program, in whatever form those programs take, that are rewarding, successful, and engaging.”

A summer associate position with Latham is a prestigious role for a law student looking to land a full-time job after graduation. The firm consistently places near the top of the AmLaw rankings. In 2018, Latham was the second richest firm surveyed, with gross revenue of more than $3.75 billion.

Another high-ranking firm, Jones Day, has confirmed that it plans to launch its summer associate programming remotely beginning May 18 and is currently working through the details of the program. Jones Day, No. 9 on the latest available AmLaw rankings, is one of a few firms to announce that it will have a summer program, but forego an in-person experience.

Moving online is one way law firms have been adjusting their approach to summer programs, which effectively serve as tryouts from promising talent. Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe, Baker Botts, and Goodwin Procter all expect to hold shortened virtual summer programs.

Davis Polk & Wardwell, in an email to its summer associates on Wednesday, said that it was evaluating alternatives to its program in light of the virus, but that it will fully compensate the group and extend offers to each of them to join the firm full-time after graduation.

Other law firms have also extended offers to law students. Cahill Gordon & Reindel said was suspending its 2020 summer associate program but will still pay its students in full and extend them full-time job offers for 2021 after their graduation.

Pepper Hamilton and Troutman Sanders, who delayed their planned merger to July 1 due to the virus, have canceled their summer programs but are offering rising 3Ls the chance to sign on at the firms as full-time associates in fall of 2021. The two firms are also extending offers to rising 2Ls to join a future summer program in 2021.

To contact the reporter on this story: Meghan Tribe in New York at mtribe@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jessie Kokrda Kamens at jkamens@bloomberglaw.com; Rebekah Mintzer at rmintzer@bloomberglaw.com

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